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ECN publication
Financing solar home systems: lessons from Swaziland
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Solar Energy 1-5-2000
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-RX--00-018 Conference Paper
Number of pages: Full text:
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Presented at: 16th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition, Glasgow, Scotland, 1-5 mei 2000.

Many Solar Home System pilot projects have been implemented to date, butonly few have resulted in a sustainable market development. 'Finance' or better the lack of it is often quoted as a major obstacle. Formal banks are reluctant to deal with rural households - the primary target group for SHS - which are generally considered as 'non-bankable'. This paper shows that in Swaziland as well as other countries in Southern Africa a latent demand exists, but actual demand for SHS is still too small for commercially sustainable market development. Sustainable finance scheme can help to reach the middle and higher income groups, but to reach a critical mass a lot of effort and time is needed. If SHS are to become within reach of the poor, a helping hand of the Government is needed. 6 refs.

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